Fetal echocardiology can provide high-quality images of your child’s heart for the most accurate diagnosis, especially for babies with an increased risk for heart abnormalities. At Children’s Cardiology Group in Orange, Newport Beach and Mission Viejo, California, the team of skilled pediatric cardiologists uses fetal echocardiology to determine if your baby has problems with heart structure, heart valves, blood flow, and other concerns. To schedule an appointment for fetal echocardiology, call the nearest location, or request an appointment through the online scheduling tool.
Fetal echocardiography refers to a diagnostic procedure that uses ultrasound waves to create an image of your unborn baby’s heart. This image, known as a fetal echocardiogram, allows your cardiologist to examine the structure and function of your baby’s heart to detect heart abnormalities before birth.
Your OB/GYN or midwife may recommend fetal echocardiography if they have concerns about your baby’s heart. During standard prenatal care, a routine sonogram provides a basic view of your child’s heart. Sometimes, your provider can’t tell for sure from this view whether your baby’s heart looks normal, so they may order a fetal echocardiogram to get a clearer picture of the heart.
Your provider may also recommend fetal echocardiography for the following concerns:
Mothers with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or lupus, also have an increased risk for fetal heart abnormalities.
Fetal echocardiography doesn’t hurt. The procedure typically takes 30-60 minutes to complete. The expert sonographers at Children’s Cardiology Group perform transabdominal fetal echocardiography:
During an abdominal echocardiography procedure, you wear a hospital gown and recline on a table. Your sonographer applies a special gel to the skin on your abdomen, then passes the ultrasound handpiece across your stomach. The ultrasound waves enter your body and bounce off of your baby’s heart, creating a series of images.
After your echocardiography procedure, your cardiologist reviews all the images. The results of your fetal echocardiogram typically become available within a few days.
If your unborn child could have a heart condition, you need an accurate diagnosis to determine the best way to keep your baby safe and healthy. The skilled sonographers at Children’s Cardiology Group have extensive experience with fetal echocardiography. To schedule an appointment for the procedure, call the clinic nearest you, or request an appointment online today.